High blood pressure

It is far better to have low blood pressure than it is to have high. Around 30% of people in the UK have high blood pressure, but unfortunately they won’t know they have it.

It’s known as the silent killer because the symptoms aren’t obvious. If left untreated high blood pressure can increase our risk of a heart attack, or a stroke. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked every 5 years. If after two or three readings your blood pressure measures 140/90 or higher, you are said to have high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). A normal blood pressure reading should be below 130/80.

Anyone with a family of high blood pressure can be at risk, but as we age, our chances of having high blood pressure also increase. Other factors include:

  • Being overweight;
  • Consuming too much alcohol;
  • Other family members have high blood pressure;
  • Being over 65;
  • Consuming too much salt;
  • Not eating enough fruit and vegetables, or
  • Not exercising enough.

If you think you fall into the above categories, it is important to bring your blood pressure down. We must maintain a better lifestyle, introduce more exercise; consume less salt and cut back on alcohol if we are to bring blood pressure down to a controllable level, but we need to make sure it stays down if we are to avoid a stroke or heart attack.

It’s usually a poor lifestyle that triggers high blood pressure. Anyone with a consistently high reading must be closely monitored, until such a time they bring their blood pressure back under control.

Medication may not always be needed if high blood pressure can be controlled by a better lifestyle; but in any event a better lifestyle is something we should all be trying to achieve. Your doctor or physician will advise you which way to go.


19 Jul, 2013

6 thoughts on “High blood pressure

  1. In the US the blood pressure is check at least once a year when we’re supposed to have a yearly check up.

    A diet change is usually recommended first, then if that doesn’t work, prescription meds are recommended. If you have a very good relationship with your doctor you may want to try over the counter or natural remedies first.

    A lot of the doctors won’t go that way because they don’t believe in natural or alternative meds. Stress also contributes as does worry. Our mental health is sometimes all that we need to control high blood pressure, but in the US a lot of it is being over weight and poor lifestyle, as you have mentioned.

    My little boy’s blood pressure goes up when he has temper tantrums or gets really upset. It scares me due to him already having heart problems. I just try to calm him down the best I can.

    1. In the UK doctors also don’t believe in the alternative approach to regulating medical problems and they should. I believe in the alternative approach wholeheartedly because the alternative approach encourages us to live a healthier lifestyle and works as far as I’m concerned.

      I completely agree with you about mental health. That certainly plays its part in our wellness as does our diet and approach to stress. I agree that stress can be a predisposition to high blood pressure problems, but would think that there have to be other considerations too for it to happen.

      The key is not to compromise on our health; reduce our weight and portion sizes and generally take out all the things that may contribute to high blood pressure.

  2. Great post. In my case I have found that exercise and diet were the key to addressing my high blood pressure. Over the last few months I have cut out a lot of ‘rubbish’ snack foods and have started to exercise more with the result that my blood pressure has returned to normal.

    I am just as stressed out at work (possibly even more than I have ever been at the moment) but with these changes in lifestyle I am delighted to have been able to address my blood pressure as it was a worry.

    I am determined to keep it at a healthy level.

    1. I hope you carry on the good work that you’ve started. It just goes to show that with the right attitude and a change in lifestyle we can change our health to some extent.

      It’s worth a try regardless. Pleased you’re now at a healthy level. Keep up the good work.

  3. I was recently diagnosed with hypertension, it has been a real eye opener.

    There is salt hidden in a lot of food I consume. Lack of exercise is also one of my downfalls, but slowly I am starting to stretch and move around more.

    Some days I will clean the house so much I break a sweat (enough for the sweat to pour down my face and I need to shower afterwards). Other times if a good song comes on the radio I will dance around the house with my dog or husband, whichever the willing participant is there.

    It’s surprising how dancing can speed up your heart, it’s also fun to do so it makes it not seem like exercise.

    1. Thanks Maria. You’re absolutely right. Hypertension is brought about by both and yes the hidden salt in processed foods also plays its part.

      As you have eloquently pointed out in your response it’s a matter again of increasing our exercise and cutting out the salt in our diets. As hard as it is to do, it’s harder in the long term having to deal with high blood pressure, particularly when we need meds to bring the reading down.

      Hypertension also brings about more complications such as possible strokes and/or heart problems.

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